Tuesday, March 18, 2008


How to Unwind a Skein of Hand Dyed Thread

I have noticed in the emails a few people who have expressed concerns about how to handle a skein of thread without it ending in a pile of knots so I thought I would share what works for me everytime and I think it is pretty easy and well worth the effort. This method was developed to be done by one person as I always find when it is time to start a skein no one is around to help.
1. Remove lable from skein and keep in safe place for future reference.
2. Untwist skein untill you are left with a circle of threads that are tied together in a couple of spots.
3. I usually tat with my feet up on a foot stool so I place the circle of threads around my 2 feet about one third of the way down my foot then slightly tilt my feet toes out to tighten the thread. Place the knot that joins the start and end of the thread towards you.
4. Remove the loops of thread that are tied to hold all the threads together.
5. Cut out knot that holds the beginning and end of thread together and let them go.
6. Grasp one of the thread ends and pull it around your feet and after a couple of times it starts to come off easy to wind on a shuttle, bobbin or a piece of cardboard. Remember to keep slight tension with your feet. If you are winding onto a piece of cardboard make a slit in each end of the cardboard, place start of thread in one slit and end of thread in slit at other end.
7. Plan ahead and plan on winding the whole skein of thread in one sitting and what ever you do donot answer the phone or door or the nasty knot fairy's will visit.
I hope this will help those who are afraid to try Hand Dyed Thread because it comes in skeins. Any questions contact me at cepage1ca at yahoo.ca Hope this helps.

6 comments:

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

Thank you Clyde!!!!

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

Clyde, I use my feet too! The method works great!

Tattycat said...

I never thought of using my feet. I always helped my mother and grandmother the old fashioned way by holding it around my hands while they wound it onto something. I have a very interesting new way to do it by myself and it involves something that belongs to our little big guy. Can you guess what it is? Hint: It is something to play with.

Jeff Hamilton said...

I tried this method when you first mentioned it on HBT. All I can say is, it works!. Thank you for the great idea!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Clyde! My method sometimes works well and other times not so well - I am going to try this next time because I am addicted to hand-dyed threads :-)

BJ said...

ROTFL I wish I could 'reach' my feet, but after all the surgeries, radiation and well - old age - this method won't work for BJ. But, if I were supple, I'd give it a try.
Creaky old person in NM, USA